Carol Grimes at Crazy Coqs – Soho. March 18th.

Songs for Night People with Carol Grimes | Crazy Coqs | Zédel, Soho


Book tickets for Songs for Night People with Carol Grimes at Crazy Coqs, a cabaret and theatre in Brasserie Zédel, Soho.

With Steve Lodder on Piano, Alison Rayner on Bass Deidre Cartwright on Guitar And Winston Clifford on Drums.

Steve and Deidre also play with Alison in ARQ. A multi-award-winning quintet are widely celebrated after several years of extensive UK and European touring 

Ivor Novello Composer Awards 2019 Alison Rayner
★ All PartyParliamentary Jazz Awards 2018 Ensemble of the Year
★ British Jazz Awards 2018 Best Small Group (Public Vote)

Songs for Night People with Carol Grimes | Crazy Coqs | Zédel, Soho

‘A spine -chillingly powerful singer rooted in the blues who embraces vocal ideas from outside the African-American tradition, Grimes is forthright, moving and imaginative’ 

    John Fordham. The Guardian.  .

   ‘At her most intense, Grimes sings with a passion which is positively unnerving. ‘ 

Time Out.

  ‘Carol Grimes veers between using her voice as an emotive Spanish – inflected Jazz instrument and simply allowing it to be a vehicle for painfully honest lyrics.’

  Jazz Express.

   Carol Grimes came on stage to sing and to make the band twelve. Elfin-like in appearance, she could have shattered glass bricks at a distance. It’s hard to account for such grace and volume emerging from so small a frame. Gently raunchy with her opening number, then later mischievous with the encore Little Red Top, hers is a miracle of charm and vocal control.    

Biography Twelve Women Good and Strong make the Vortex Foundation Band 

By Philippa Jones  

“The culmination of the Festival for me was Carol Grimes who performed mainly her own creation with a trio accompaniment. There sang everything: voice, facial expression, gestures, motion-she was an artist of a hundred %. Her lyrics were easy to listen to because of exemplary diction.”

   “Easti Aeg” (Estonian Times.)


Carol Grimes (vocals); Dorian Ford (piano); Annie Whitehead (trombone); Neville Malcolm (bass); Winston Clifford (drums).
(Review by Flore). 

‘If you want to get ahead get a hat and head for Lauderdale House’. The temperature doesn’t just dive in Newcastle, North London also has its share of howling winds, and below-zero temperatures.
Carol rapidly warmed the audience up with red hair flowing topped by a snazzy hat at a jaunty angle, her way of warning off winter’s bugs. 

1. All Blues, already the packed audience was anything but blue.
2. Little Sister, with drummer Winston interjecting ‘Call my Name’, who wouldn’t?
3.’Round Midnight, Carol chose Oscar Brown’s lyric, ably philosophising (is there such a word)?………’as one day gets spent we gain another’…….through all this a speedy tempo, but was toned down for some poetry…….’ the ghost of Thelonious Monk visits me’……and we are enveloped in a cha charhythm to conclude on a high. By this point, the audience were agog! 4. Scars, Fran Landesman lyric, Simon Wallace score. Again very profound lyric, but true to Carol’s inimitable style, delivered with a twist. How does Annie manage to get her trombone to slide to a whispering finish?
5. Innards, Only Carol could write lyric naming parts of the anatomy, and Dorian performed such an alluring solo, punctuated by Annie ‘growling’ ( I was privileged to have a seat behind Dorian which allowed me to see the silent communication between the triangle of piano bass and drums).
6.The Dance, once again lyric by Carol, music Dorian. Carol said her inspiration came from paintings by Marc Chagall. This piece was a superb vehicle for solos from all the group. Hope Chagall was tuned into the multi-coloured ending to the first set. The audience clamouring to buy the current CD featuring pieces performed.
7.Annie’s Little Red Trombone; Carol was inspired to pen this when Annie arrived as a party guest bearing a red plastic(made in China) Trombone. I couldn’t stop giggling to listen to the lyrics. Still, a lot of ‘red’ was mentioned…..’ beetroot salad, red beans’……..comedy switched to virtuosity with Winston pairing with Dorian on piano, and also scatting with Neville on bass. 8. But I was Cool; An open invitation with a blues flavour to let it all hang out, Annie ‘growled’, possibly to draw a veil across some four letter words, Carol’s voice soared to falsetto, a signal for musicians mayhem, ending as it began, being ‘Cool’
9. Tree and Me; Change of mood, Carol introduced this as a favourite of her daughters. Again, for me, the lyric was profound, with the musicians offering a sound basis, for Carol to then present herself in a totally different way, once more tongue in cheek
10. New Coat of Paint; Tom Waits. I suspect a very different version to the original. Opportunity for more ‘growling’ from Annie (she does it like no other). In a nutshell -Honky Tonk.
11. Ship Building; Elvis Costello, yet again thought-provoking material, delivered in an upbeat way, turning the theme upside down, as they say ‘that’s Jazz’
12. Rags and Old Iron; I am certain that this Nina Simone classic was as they say in the trade, a ‘Big Finish’, with all the signs of a mini Musical. It drew all the threads together but left the audience hungry for more. 

A stellar choice for the London Jazz Festival. I take my hat off to Brian Blane for selecting such a galaxy of stars. A case for Keeping Jazz Live.


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